"...thousands of dark-grey and black moths, some nearly as big as your hand"
Moths were nocturnal insects of a kind closely related to butterflies. Bilbo Baggins found them fluttering at nightfall on his first visit to Rivendell. Curiously, they are also mentioned as dwelling in Mirkwood, where the moths were black or dark grey, and grew to a huge size.
In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "moth" is fufril.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 36